One of the many things in my bucket list that hopefully I can do this year is learning pottery. With my current interest in tea pots and tea sets (thanks to my friend Grace).. I’ve been imagining serving and drinking in my own, made by me tea set! Oh what a sight in my imagination! I couldn’t even describe the joy of opening my cupboard and seeing the work of my hands and most of all, sipping a delicious tea from it. Feels like heaven to me!
On Jan. 1st of this year my husband decided to go on a family trip to Salt Spring Island (I will be back!). Salt Spring Island is the artist’s haven where artists choose to build their studios and galleries and continue to be inspired. When he told me that’s where we are going.. I couldn’t believe what he just said. And to top it up even more, we stayed at Frida’s Villa (pictures and videos here) inspired by the works of Frida Kahlo. You couldn’t be more inspired! The Villa is full of artistry from all the tiny details to the huge acrylic paintings, handmade painted tiles, pottery, and woodwork all done by the owners.
When I heard from Ricky that she does clay and pottery, I know I have to meet her and talk to her, interview her.. I love meeting artists and know how they start, their inspiration and all that. So I did! She showed me her studio where she also teaches young kids to work with clay. Tracy has been doing clay for many years. She started as an apprentice with one of the best potters in Toronto and from there she mastered the art.
She showed me some of her works and was very kind to educate me on pottery. Now my knowledge of it is more than just a bowl or a vessel but the work and artistry that goes with it is usually unnoticed. Just like any other art, this is tedious, requires patience and the love for it! I would never look at pottery today the way I did before. I have so much appreciation to it now. And I can’t wait to try my hands on the wheel! More than that there is all the other components to it like firing, glazing and many other techniques.
One of the techniques she uses is called “Raku”, originally from Japan.
You’re not going to believe it.. (well.. I guess for me, as I have no clue until I met Tracy) for this one below, those impressions were horse hair! It melts and impresses itself onto the vessel. If that interests you, here’s a video I found. I was only able to picture it on my mind when I saw this.
Aside from clay and pottery, Tracy also does gigantic paintings on canvas using liquid acrylic and gold dusts from Thailand. I noticed this right away in the master’s bedroom entitled Emerald City. She also does black ink brush stroke, charcoal drawings, fiber optics and much more.
You can also see her work, an architectural ceramic at Salt Spring Island Library called the Salt Spring Library Story Dragon, using144 clay tiles with inner row of tiles (throat to tail) painted by local children. (9 ft by 4 ft).
For more works and current and future projects by Tracy Harrison, a multi-talented and amazing artist you can check out her website at http://www.artbyharrison.com. Tracy also teaches clay and pottery to children, creative and art therapy for adults. For more information check out the workshops she offers.
Tracy, thank you for inspiring me.. Your colourful villa and your works inspired me to look beyond white and beige or black. Our world is colourful and so be it inside and outside of our home and our lives!
Live Art, Share Art, Be Art!